Remember that the manager should aim to do 20% of the talking and the employee 80%. We all prefer to be listened to and not lectured at. So it's most effective if you can use some JGQs (jolly good questions).
What do you like best/least about your job?
Not for a regular one to one but mid year or annually. Rather than asking "so whats gone well?" or "what are your strengths"? What we like best is generally what we are good at, and what we like least is often where we are weaker. The "best" question gets all the strengths on the table and an opportunity to give praise where its due. The "least" question then starts a discussion on areas for development that you could help with. e.g. "How could I help you with that?" "What could you do about it?" This would be a more constructive approach than just delivering negative feedback.
Is your job getting easier or more difficult?
This is for someone who is quite plainly struggling. It allows them to say what's on their mind and starts the discussion.
What do you see are the priorities of the job?
For someone who seems to have a different view on priorities to you. This is a good opener to potentially agree on a couple and you can suggest a couple more, or question one that is just not right. I would then park the priorities and move on to whats gone well before returning to them again later when you want to establish some new priorities, or correct a misunderstanding.
What do you find is the best way to get things done?
For someone who is rubbing people up the wrong way. This is the opener that will start to establish a better way of working with others?
When you do x how do you think that makes people feel?
We can be single minded in our approach, perhaps the way we have always behaved, and have never given though to the impact on others. This question starts that thinking and opens up a new avenue of actions.
Have a look at our video on how to coach to change behaviour at www.eltalking.com